Children who are diagnosed with cancer and have to undergo treatment may be eligible to get a referral to a family dentist, according to a study.
Key points:Dentists who have treated children with cancer for two years or more are eligible to refer children to the family dentist article The study found that referrals from dental schools to family dentists had a significant effect on children’s quality of life, and led to a lower risk of complications from dental treatment Source:Dr Stephen Wright and colleagues at the University of Sydney School of Dentistry have found that people with cancer who have had dental treatment at a family practice in the past two years were more likely to get referrals to a dentist who could provide them with care and treatment.
The study found those who had received dental treatment had a significantly higher rate of outcomes in their dental health than those who did not, such as lower dental caries, lower gum disease and lower caries.
Dentistry in the study was completed by a nationally representative sample of adults aged between 18 and 64.
Children who received a referral from a dental school to a dental practice for two or more years were eligible to be referred to a community dentist for treatment.
They were also asked to fill in a survey to record their experience of care and of any complications they experienced.
The results revealed that those who were referred to family practice had a better quality of dental health, and were less likely to experience complications related to their dental care, such the need to have a dentist visit or visit a dentist more often.
The study also showed that referrals to dental schools were linked to better dental health outcomes in children.
For the study, Dr Wright and his colleagues surveyed 1,500 adults, aged between 21 and 64, who were living in Australia between September 1, 2011, and December 31, 2016.
They then compared their dental history to their answers to questions about dental health and dental cary.
Results showed that those children who had been referred to dental school for two to four years had a lower rate of caries than those whose children had not had dental care for two and a half years.
Dr Wright said the study’s results were a reminder that children with childhood cancer have a much better chance of getting a dental referral to the dental school they were living at.
“They have a greater chance of accessing a dental clinic or dental school if they have had a dental treatment, and they are also less likely if they do have dental treatment,” he said.
“It could be that if a child has been referred by a dental college to a primary school for treatment, that child may also benefit from being educated by a primary dental school dentist.”
If they have not had a primary dentist visit for the last three years, they are less likely than those with cancer not to have had an appointment.
“Dr Wright added that the study could help reduce the number of children living in families without dental coverage, particularly those living in remote communities.”
This study is a good reminder that there is a lot of work to be done, and it could be a key factor in helping to ensure that children are not being left behind when it comes to dental care,” he concluded.
Topics:dentistry,cancer,health,social-policy,social—dental-disorder,dental,dentists-and-dentifers,nsw,australiaContact:Stephen Wright,School of Dentary,Schools,Dentary,AUS,Auckland,New ZealandFirst posted January 31, 2021 16:11:18Contact Stephen WrightMore stories from New Zealand